With a history that spans back thousands of years and to a variety of civilizations, Istanbul's appeal in the tourism industry continues to rise annually. In addition to the city's historical palaces, mosques, uniquely beautiful Bosphorus Strait, museums, archaeological excavations and alternative tourism potential, with the hotel industry's wide spectrum, Istanbul continues on its rise in the tourism sector.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in the first eight months of this year, Istanbul has had 6,147,818 foreign visitors.
Istanbul, which already nears the top of the list yearly in tourism statistics, saw an 18 percent rise compared to last year alone.
In January 451,662 foreigners came to Istanbul. In February 494,124, in March 659,826, in April 818,788, in May 867,511, in June 939,508, in July 966,337, in August 950,062 foreign visitors came to Istanbul.
A total 305,266 foreigners entered Istanbul on daytrips from the Karaköy Port.
HIGHEST NUMBER OF TOURISTS CAME FROM GERMANY
During the January to August period, 708,863 Germans came to Istanbul, 349,109 Russians followed, 322,272 Americans visited, 295,320 French, 285,153 came from Italy, 284,866 came from Iran, 281,594 came from England, 175,675 came from Holland, 137,237 came from Iraq, 133,842 came from Spain, 131,269 came from Libya, 127,907 came from Azerbaijan, 124,638 came from Ukraine, 121,774 came from Japan and 119,551 tourists came to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia.
During these months, 5,802,940 tourists entered Istanbul by plane, while 344,878 travelled to the city by sea.
During the same timeframe, Istanbul also had a significant number of visitors from nations that experienced the Arab Spring. From Tunisia 52,547 visitors came to Istanbul, from Egypt 68,378, from Libya 131,269, from Syria 37,021, from Bahrain 8,585, from Algeria 63,014, from Jordan 51,297 and from Yemen 7,182 tourists came to Turkey bringing the total to 419,321 for visitors from Arab Spring nations.
A 715% RISE IN TOURISTS FROM LIBYA
In a comparison of figures from the first eight months of this year to those of the year prior, the number of tourists that came to Istanbul from Libya jumped exponentially by 715 percent from 16,091 to 131,269 tourists. Tunisian tourists were also on the rise this year with last year's figure of 34,885 increasing by 52 percent this year to 52,547 tourists.
A SINGLE TOURIST EACH FROM SIX NATIONS
Only two visitors each came to Istanbul from the Solomon Islands, Samoa, the Virgin Islands and Burma, while just one tourist came from the Faroe Islands, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Antarctica, the Cook Islands and the Ivory Coast.
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